Come to me.’ The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 27, 2014)

jesus_christ_our_savior_mass_intentions_card_63921“Come to me” Matt 11:28

On Notre Dame’s campus, there is a statue of the Sacred Heart that faces the Main Building. On the plinth of the statue are the words in Latin: “Venite Ad Me Omnes.” “Come to me, all of you.” The arms of Christ are open wide, anticipating the embrace with which he will gather all humanity to himself. He stands there, awaiting a response.

The opening prayer for today’s Mass declares that we “glory in the Heart” of God’s beloved Son. His heart has endured temptation suffering and death, all out of love for us. It is this heart that He continually offers to us with the words, “Come to me.”

Here we see the action of divine love it makes the first move and allows us to respond in kind. We do not worship a God who is cold and distant, but One whose heart is on fire with desire for us. We do not placate an angry and aloof deity, but instead God invites us to draw into an ever-deepening relationship. It is somewhat like our early days of dating when someone first broaches the big words, “I love you.” God has made that declaration and is even patient as we overcome the awkwardness of our own response. “Thanks.” “You’re really nice.” “I like you, too.”

Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, understood this dynamic when he wrote, “The primary purpose of devotion to the Sacred Heart is to return love for love.” Eventually we will mature enough to say, “I love you, too.” Until that time, Christ continues to call us, “Come to me, all of you.”


Loving God, your Son holds out to us His Heart, wounded by hatred and suffering, but His desire for us is not diminished. Help us to know the depth of His longing for our salvation and to grow in imitation of His love. We make this prayer in His name, for He is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Rev. Brent Kruger, C.S.C., teaches theology at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He wrote this reflection and prayer for Faith ND.

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